I love writing about my spiritual awakening. And I love reading about other people’s spiritual awakenings. What tickles me most about it all, is how we all seem to feel as if we’ve just discovered uncharted insight or invented a revolutionary technique that can help not only us, but anyone who is willing to try to think like us or act like us or serve the world like us.
We’re Utopians in that respect – so sure that if the pained people of the world could just drop their weapons, feel gratitude for their challenges, treat others with kindness, be mindful of the environment and eat healthier food, that a giant wave of tenderness would wash over the planet and soothe humanity’s woes.
I’ve had a revelation or two of my own following a particularly meditative and pensive week. I’ve realized that, while world peace is the goal, it is simply impossible. Earth is designed to be a place of learning. And without suffering, there’s little opportunity to understand the incredible depth of love.
Though this tiny shift has been simmering quietly in my being for quite some time, I’ve been unable to accept it. Unable to accept that man is robbing the earth of her heartbeat; unable to accept that our children are being taught to value competition over collaboration; unable to accept that national leaders are so angry and disturbed that they truly believe nuclear attacks will heal their pain; unable to accept that children are abused and people are starving and corporate greed rules the world and there’s very little a peace-yearning person like me, like you, can do about it.
I cannot change the world. I can only change myself and, as Gandhi said, “be the change [I] wish to see in the world.”
This whole planet spins for us. So we can learn. The Universe lives only in our own hearts, and there we can find peace. This tormented planet serves our human existence so we can learn and elevate and evolve. It’s all so clear to me today. I get it.
The Universe in Krishna’s mouth.
Work hard to gain your own salvation.
Instead of wishing that the world were different, I’m replacing that wish with a feeling with gratitude. I’m thankful for the existence of this place of learning, grateful for the opportunity to serve my soul as a human experiment, joyed with moments – the highs and the lows – knowing that each experience is a valuable addition to my soul’s journey. I see that the best thing I can do to create peace in my heart is to love unconditionally and serve others as much as I can. I don’t have to fix the world, in fact I can’t. I just have to fix myself.
Honestly, I’m a bit weepy typing out these thoughts. I feel like I’m mourning a lifetime of misdirected thoughts, but I’m also relieved to come to grips with what I believe is truth, even though it’s a hard pill to swallow.
Photo credit: Flickr
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Vanessa Gobes is a full time house frau and jane of all trades. She’s currently blogging her way to awakening through a steady diet of kindness, compassion and mindfulness – considering herself not quite Buddhist, but Bu-curious. Her current intent is to work on infusing a daily morning meditation routine into each public school in her town. Vanessa is a community activista, philanthropista and newspaper columnista in Winchester, Massachusetts. Read her stories on her blog Bringing Up Buddhas.